Well, having spent 14 years working in Human Resources, hiring and firing I can honestly say that the epithet "nice" was rarely awarded. Other words, not suitable for this blog, were used. In fact I mentioned that very fact this week on my business blog.
So here goes:
- being called "Mrs", which happens to all women over about 35 - nobody asks whether you want to be called that, they just do
- the fact that the Inland Revenue charge you interest for late payment, but when they owe you money they are remarkably tardy about giving it back
- council tax - for what?
- lorry drivers who can't read weight limit signs/see that they are going to have difficulty turning round and plough on into the village regardless, before getting stuck (one hit my car yesterday!)
- Jehovah's Witnesses who have taken to knocking on the doors in this village every few weeks "because it's a pretty place" - if you don't answer the first time they come back a few days later to try to get you again
- the fact that when it snows in London it makes the national news, but when it snows here, nobody gives a shit
- courier firms who send out a substitute driver on the route without a map, satnav or seemingly a brain so I don't get my parcels for 2 days
- people who tell rubbish lies - illustration below
Until 18 months ago I worked in HR in the corporate world, and over the years I came across a number of people who tell rubbish lies. The fiasco with our members of parliament and their pathetic excuses for their expenses brought this to mind.
If you're going to lie, do it well and please think it through! Here is a story to illustrate my point, drawn from my years in HR (for those of you with high ethics, this did not result in a disciplinary of any kind so I feel ok about telling it with identifying details omitted).
Advised by a manager of an incident, I got the expected phone call from an aggrieved employee.
"I want to complain - I've just had a bollocking for going shopping in a supermarket during work time."
At this point I should make it clear that I learned my interrogation technique from a wonderful lady who told me "never ask a question to which you don't already know the answer".
So I said "Didn't you do that then?"
"No, he said I was in the shop at 1135 but I've got a receipt which shows the time was 1153."
"Oh yes, and what time does your lunch period start?"
"So your receipt actually proves you were in the shop during work time, more to the point you must have been in the shop before 1153 when you got to the checkout."
"Let me ask you another question, how did you get there?"
"In the van."
"But you can't drive can you?"
"Erm, no." Silence at the other end of the line - he could see where this was going by now.
"So how did you get there?"
"One of the lads drove me."
"What did he do while you were in the shop?"
"He waited outside."
"OK, so just to clarify, you left the place where you were supposed to be working some time before 1135, lets say 1125 at the latest, went to the supermarket in a works vehicle using works petrol, driven by one of the lads who should also have been working, you were in the shop 15 minutes or more and all of this was before your lunch break, by your own admission?"
"I suggest you take your bollocking, go away, and don't do it again because if you want to take this further you might find yourself on disciplinary charges."
(He laughs) "OK then".
Off he went, and never a squeak from him again. How stupid can some people be?
I have spent some time thinking about who I should tag on this one, as I read a lot of blogs but comment on very few. I have decided to tag Rick at Flip Chart Fairy Tales. I read his blog every day, it's about business and HR and I enjoy the variety of his posts, in particular he's not afraid to have strong opinions, something I very much appreciate.
I'll leave you with today's picture - rain. No gardening for me!